Archive for May, 2008

Popular chicken BBQ along the Lincoln Highway

May 20, 2008

John Renock of Galion, Ohio, sent some photos about his favorite Lincoln Highway chicken barbecue stand. During the summer, it’s along the westbound lanes of US 30 west of Ligonier, Pennsylvania, very close to Idewild Park. The stand is in the lot of a closed dairy drive-in across from the Driftwood Inn (known for it’s 1950s signs).

John says it’s been a weekend adventure for a number of years to go on a Sunday drive from Ohio to travel back to his nearby hometown and to get barbecued chicken. In the photo above, that’s Mike Hocker (Executive Director of the Ohio Lincoln Highway Historic Byway) in the green shorts/white shirt standing in line.

The gentleman who owned the soft ice cream stand found out he could earn as much doing chicken every Sunday Memorial Day through mid-October as working a weekly schedule selling ice cream etc. So he closed the ice cream store and uses the cooler, etc. to support the barbecue built on the western edge of the parking lot. I believe he is helped by a brother and brother-in-law. Didn’t take serious notes when I interviewed him the first time. He is sort of gruff. Stands at the end of the barbecue pit and takes your order.

As the chicken halves are pulled off the grill, they are placed in large, covered roasting pans near the serving area. They steep in the steamy juices for an hour or so before they are pulled from the roaster, dropped onto precut sheets of aluminum foil, methodically wrapped and deftly dropped into a paper sack. Pop is kept cool in ice water in a 50’s vintage pop cooler. Cole slaw is available, too.

Be ready to speak up when it is your turn as the guy has a line of people to serve and gets a little grumpy if you hem and haw. Just put us in mind of the “Soup Nazi” on Seinfeld. They start the charcoal pit around 6 a.m. on Sunday and serve until all is sold. We estimated about 750 to 1,000 half chickens on a given day. (He wouldn’t say). Then you can find a spot on a nearby shade tree picnic table maintained on the proper tyand enjoy your prize. Melt in your mouth chicken! When we first went there in ’97 it was about $3 a half. Last time it was $4.25.

Update on 2008 Lincoln Highway Buy Way sale

May 19, 2008

The Lincoln Highway Buy Way — Aug 7, 8 & 9, 2008 — is a yard sale that stretches hundreds of miles along the famous coast-to-coast road. Homeowners, businesses, and civic groups set up antiques, yard decorations, and lots of other things to buy for mile after mile. The event has grown to include Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia: click here for details about some of the larger organized events in each of ths states. Here’s more info from the Ohio release:

The Lincoln Highway Historic Byway created this event four years ago (in 2005) on the outside chance that it would ‘go’ and we’ve been busy managing it ever since,” said Sara Lou Brown, Wyandot County’s Visitor Bureau director and president of the state-designated byway group. The first year saw over 250 yard sales across the Ohio portion of the Lincoln Highway, America’s first coast-to-coast paved road.

As the original road was improved from 1913 to 1928, it took several parallel alignments in a few areas, which may confuse “non-history-savvy” shoppers, but thanks to many organizations wanting to bring traffic to their door, a new traveler’s guide and map will be printed showing not only the road map of the highway, but also a listing of many yard sales and community events along the way. This free guide will be available in mid July.

Mike Hocker, executive director of the byway noted that “we think we are going to have over 700 yard sales in Ohio, parts of Indiana, and even Illinois this year…but the best news is that yard salers, of which we have virtually no control, seem to be organizing into larger and (cooler) venues for the hot August fun. This makes for safer traffic and parking, provides for restrooms and other creature comforts, and makes for longer browsing of more “stuff.” Communities are also adding festival-type activities such as concerts, car shows and rallies, food and kids’ activities…all to make the event more enjoyable for those travelling.

Yard Sale participants may also upload their yard sale information onto the byway website, ( which shoppers can then print out and take with them to follow as they shop.

For more information and official yard sale supplies or details about listing in the travelers guide, call (419) 468-6773.

Click the image below for a print-ready flyer from Ohio:

Old gas pumps can't handle new high prices

May 16, 2008

An AP article has bad news for lovers of old gas stations found along the Lincoln Highway or any old 2-lane. The newest challenge in trying to compete with modern stations is that older pumps typically top out at $3.99 per gallon, which seems likely to be passed very soon.

Click the AP image above for the full article. Here’s an excerpt:

The pumps, throwbacks to a bygone era on the American road, are difficult and expensive to upgrade, and replacing them is often out of the question for station owners who are still just scraping by.

Many of the same pumps can only count up to $99.99 for the total sale, preventing owners of some sport utility vehicles, vans, trucks and other gas-guzzlers to fill their tanks all the way.

As many as 8,500 of America’s 170,000 service stations have old-style meters that need to be fixed — about 17,000 individual pumps, said Bob Renkes, executive vice president of the Petroleum Equipment Institute of Tulsa, Oklahoma….

For many station owners — who, because of a relatively small profit margin on gas, aren’t raking in money even though gas prices are marching higher — replacing the pumps altogether with electronic ones is just not an option.

“The new ones run between $10,000 and $15,000 apiece,” Colville said. “It’s an expense that’s not worth it.”

Mechanical meters can be retrofitted with higher numbers when pump prices climb another dollar. The last time that happened was in late 2005, when gas went over $3 a gallon, and owners of the older pumps installed kits that went to $3.999.

The price of fixing the meters jumped in the past three years because old pumps are being phased out for new electronic pumps and demand for refurbished meters is down, Al Eichorn, vice president of PMP Corp., which makes the mechanical meters….

To deal with the problem, some state regulators are allowing half-pricing — displaying the price for a half-gallon of gas, then doubling the price shown on the meter….

“If gas is the profit driver and you are one of those guys with the old pumps, you’re either evolving or getting out,” said Jeff Lenard, spokesman for the National Association of Convenience Stores, a trade group that represents about 115,000 stores that sell gasoline.

L Hwy Garage in Valpo "most modern" in 1934

May 15, 2008

LHA president Jan Shupert-Arick sent along a note that her friend Terry Goldsworthy found an interesting article on The story called the Lincoln Highway Garage in Valparaiso, Indiana, the most modern station in 1934 by Motor Service, a monthly industry journal. (The news story itself is from an issue of the Vidette Messenger of Valparaiso.) Why? “It was realized that the automotive service of the future would not go to the screw driver and pliers mechanics, but would go to the shops where equipment for repairing the car was used as systrematicallyt as machinery is used where cars are built.” The article then lists all the modern marvels of the garage. Click the image below to see a larger scan of the article:

More on “Route 30” the movie and Mister Ed

May 14, 2008

The Chambersburg Public Opinion reports on the forthcoming film Route 30 (previously written about here in posts 1 & 2). The article notes that writer/director John Putch is the son of Bill Putch, former artistic director of the Totem Pole Playhouse, located between Gettysburg and Chambersburg. It also mentions that a portion of the profits from the September 27 premiere at Gettysburg’s Majestic Theatre will benefit the playhouse and the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor.

One of the featured locals is Ed Gotwalt (above), owner of Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum along the Lincoln Highway in Orrtanna:

Gotwalt, who plays himself, sells peanuts and other goods to a handful of the movie’s characters, helping to connect the three storylines…. Gotwalt pops in and out of the movie, which features three different plots. Each one pays homage to the areas around state Route 30, with a comedic twist.

The world premiere of Route 30 will be at the Stony Brook Film Festival in Long Island, N.Y., in July.

The September 27 premiere in Gettysburg starts at 8 p.m. in the Majestic Theatre. Tickets cost $16 and can be bought from the Majestic’s box office, online at, at the Totem Pole Playhouse, and at Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum.

Photos used with permission,

Lincoln Highway slides onto US 30 in Greensburg

May 13, 2008

Heavy rain over the weekend likely caused a portion of the original Lincoln Highway west of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to fall onto US 30, closing both eastbound lanes of the 4-lane. A water line also broke but it was not clear what happened first. Here is a view of the LH before the landslide, which occurred to the left:

More that 30 truckloads of debris fell down onto US 30, and though that road is again open, the LH (aka old Route 30 and Tollgate Hill Road) will remain closed for a few weeks. Read the full report in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review by cliking the image below:

Or read about it and view a video on by clicking below:

Lincoln Highway mural in Clarks, Nebraska

May 12, 2008

John and Lenore Weiss sent this photo from a trip they took last year. They stopped in Clarks, Nebraska, and spoke with Norm Manstedt, who was having the building restored that features this Lincoln Highway mural. It is on Millard Street, the original LH through the small town. Lenore says, “New siding frames the mural. it will house a lawn and garden business with a small shop in front. John talked to this fellow for quite a while and he seems to be interested in promoting the Lincoln Highway.”

NE_ Clarks_mural

Model Ts 100 years old and touring coast-to-coast

May 9, 2008

Above, The 10 Millionth Ford (with Lincoln Highway markings) arrives at San Francisco, California, 1924. Drive Frank Kulick is handing Mayor J. Rolph a letter from Mayor Hylan of New York City. Courtesy University of Michigan, Special Collections Library, lhc3000.

A transcontinental tour of Ford Model Ts was launched on May 5 in honor of the car’s centennial. The “Sea to Sea by T” tour is traveling from Baltimore to Los Angeles via Route 40 and Route 66, missing the Lincoln Highway but nonetheless of note to old car and highway enthusiasts. The cars were shipped to Baltimore last month and the participants flew in May 3rd to start the tour. A sampling of overnight stops includes Springfield MO on May 13; Amarillo TX on May 17; Albuquerque NM on May 21; Williams AZ on May 24-25; and arrive LA on May 28. Details are scarce; the national Model T Club recommends contacting the Model T Ford Club of Southern California c/o Lee Chase (323) 938-4601, though most of what they know is reported here.

Also note that the Model T Ford Club of America and Ford Motor Company will honor the 100 year birthday of the Model T with an official celebration July 21-26, 2008 at the Wayne County Fairgrounds (861 Salisbury Road N) in Richmond, Indiana, which is 60 miles east of Indianapolis & 35 miles west of Dayton, Ohio. Click the logo above for more info.

Henry Ford chose not to align with the Lincoln Highway Association or any road that depended on private funding, but his son Edsel supported their efforts, most famously with a tour of the 10 Millionth Model T along the Lincoln Highway in 1924.

Abbottstown PA to beautify center square

May 8, 2008

The Abbottstown Beautification Project is a capital campaign to improve the Center Square located in the middle of the Lincoln Highway in Adams County, Pennsylvania. Personalized bricks and other sponsorship opportunities will help fund brick sidewalks, colonial era lighting, crosswalks, and landscaping. Also included is a large, lighted flagpole in the center of the traffic circle and the Abbottstown schoolhouse bell and cupola on the northwest corner. Here are the four corners plus a Lincoln Highway mural. Photos by Becky Fengfish.

Abbottstown is the eastern end of the 200-mile-long Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor in Pennsylvania. Those wanting a brochure can contact Becky Fengfish at or (717) 259-7332.

Fun and learning at Ohio's 14th annual meeting

May 7, 2008

The 14th annual meeting of Ohio’s chapters of the Lincoln Highway Association met in Galion on Saturday, April 26 at the Elk’s Banquet Room. Ohio League President Mike Buettner of Lima presided; special guest was national LHA President Jan Shupert-Arick. The all-day event included a presentation by Revolutionary War era expert Ted Bruner on the battles of Sandusky and Olentangy, which occurred along the frontier corridor in Crawford County that would later become the Lincoln Highway. Attendees also enjoyed walking tours of Galion. The meeting was reported on in the Bucyrus Telegraph Forum. The next meeting of the Mid-Ohio chapter will be held May 15 at Just Jokin’ in Crestline at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Mike McNaull (419) 281-3064. Also check out Denny Gibson’s always-interesting blog to see photos from his 3 day trip there from Cincinnati and back.

ABOVE: Members and guests of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League listen as Kirk Slusher, Planning Administrator for District One of the Ohio Department of Transportation, explains the history and funding procedure for the construction of aesthetic bridges such as the new Lincoln Highway Bridge at Beaverdam (I-75 interchange at SR 696). Photos © by John Renock, Galion.

ABOVE: Kirk Slusher, P.E., Planning Administration for ODOT District One at Lima, accepts the “Exemplary Friend of the Lincoln Highway Award” on behalf of the Ohio Department of Transportation, given by the Lincoln Highway Association for outstanding contributions to promotion and preservation. ODOT was honored for their role in constructing a Lincoln Highway Bridge at the I-75 interchange with SR 696 at Beaverdam. The bridge features four large Lincoln Highway logo signs facing I-75 and four smaller logos set in brick pillar replicas that face 696 (formerly U.S. 30-North and once part of the Lincoln Highway). The pillars are reminiscent of 20 pillars originally set along the Lincoln Highway in the 1920s.

ABOVE: Ohio Lincoln Highway League President Mike Buettner displays a picture of the new Lincoln Highway Bridge at Beaverdam.

ABOVE: The main speakers at the 14th Annual Business Meeting of the Ohio Lincoln Highway League were, from left: Ted Bruner, local educator and expert historian on the subject of Colonel Crawford; Mike Hocker, chairman of the planning committee for this meeting; Mike Buettner, president of the OLHL; Mike McNaull, president of the Mid-Ohio Chapter; Jeff Lotze, president of the Eastern Ohio Chapter; and Jan Shupert-Arick, president of the Lincoln Highway Association.

ABOVE: Tom Lockard accepts a certificate for a Life Membership in the Lincoln Highway Association from Marie Malernee, outgoing LHA Director for Ohio. Tom’s wife Mary Lou was not able to attend, but is also included in this Life Membership